Sounds like PC gone wild; my parents were quite liberal in many ways, but talking about sex was a no-no.
It does seem like a bizarre question to ask an 80 year old, though perhaps that’s just a reflection on the pensioners I’ve met over the years.
I think it’s one of those where so long as no-one has cause to suspect homophobia it’s best left to individuals to state their sexuality if they feel it’s worth doing. There are some things octogenarians don’t generally like to be asked and sexual preference is one of them.
As a nurse, I recognise that in order to provide full, holistic care to patients, an understanding of their social history is important – and no less so than in older people. Asking about sexuality needs, including sexual orientation, should be part of a proper assessment, although I agree it should not need to be asked 4 times a year.
However, the statement “that we will not be required to act in a way which goes against our doctrinal beliefs.” worries me slightly. Does this mean that a gay Christian elderly person could be asked to leave? Or will suffer discrimination if, for example, their partner were to visit?
It needs to be recognised that many LGBT people also practice religious faiths and the two identities need not be incompatible.
It is not as flapjack says best left for individuals to state their sexuality. The onus should be on the care provider to ask and to show that they do not discriminate in the provison of their goods and services. To show that they care enough to ask the question and that it is not a problem, to show that they are professional and welcoming. Given the vile way that some religious people treat gay people the onus is on them. The local authority needs this information to plan services and needs to ensure that the service they are paying for on behalf of their residents and taxpayers is equitable. Some people might consider it to be intrusive, but it is important to ask. Elderly people are not necessarily asexual and sexuality will increasingly be a part of the identities of those who lived during gay liberation and after. If a Christian organisation is providing services funded by the statutory sector then they are legally obliged to provide that service to gay men and lesbians. There is no doctrinal opt out. What does it mean being required to act in a way that goes against their doctrinal beliefs? The centre has said that they have had gay and lesbian users but is not even willing to acknoweldge that some people may be gay or lesbian by asking them for fear of offending heterosexuals. Can you imagine the sort of service they gay people might get, (don’t ask don’t tell). What happens if people fear that they will be treated badly or will get inferior care if they come out. What happens if they cannot have their friends visit for fear that they will be outed. What happens if their culture, identity and past is denied. It is bad enough that the elderly and aged are desexualised in general. This religious pussy footing and fear of talking about sex and sexuality ultimatley harms people. The authority has come to an unsatisfactory compromise where people will be asked on assessment. The question is will they then be denied a place? This is now uncertain, they should make a statement.
Do they pray 5 times a day ??? – no thanks !!!
There are two issues – making sure that care providers are not operating anti-gay measures either overtly or covertly, and, quite separately, respecting the right of residents to privacy on the same basis as the rest of us. To require anyone to state their sexuality is not on. A bit of zealotry on the part of someone at the Council?
A lesbian friend found it really sad when she visited an ex-lover in a rest home. The ex-lover had dementia and the nurses had “prettied her up” for visitors, putting this staunch butch dyke in a dress with make-up. Even with her memory failing this was probably very uncomfortable for her. If more attention had been paid at entry, such an indignity may have been avoided. Unless of course the nurses were extreme Christians who might put their own views ahead of their patient’s needs.
Isn’t there a good deprogramming center in the UK for these Christofacist cult members?